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PostiePlus expects 'tidy profit' by year end, Boskell says:

Tuesday 9th March 2010

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Postie Plus Group expects a “tidy profit” this year, after narrowing its first-half loss by gaining market share and lifting sales, chief executive Ron Boskell told BusinessWire today.

The retailer posted a loss of $1.1 million, or 2.7 cents a share in the six months ended January 31, from a loss of $2.7 million, or 6.7 cents a year earlier. Sales rose 7.5% to $54 million.

"Consumer confidence remains fragile but is improving," the company said in a statement to the NZX.  Postie Plus won’t pay a first-half dividend. Its shares were unchanged at 40 cents and have gained 82% in the past 12 months.

Shoppers have reacted well to a revamp of the PostiePlus fashion offering, with total sales revenue up, Boskell said. The company had gone "backwards" in the early stages of the recession, and has been investing in new, better-fitting and more fashionable and "aspirational" stylings to win customers back, he said.

"This sets us up for our winter sales period", when the company traditionally performed strongly. "If that works, we should have a ourselves a tidy profit" by financial year's end, Boskell told BusinessWire.

Distribution expenses fell to $3.1 million from $3.4 million. Tax fell 42% to $484,000 in the latest period.

The results also included the $77,000 cost to the company of selling the Waimate knitting mill in a management buy-out that allowed PostiePlus to quit the non-core asset "at a small loss".

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